The movie is reasonably cut-and-dry, but for those who didn’t jump deep into the story when it initially hit the airwaves, hearing about what a controlling beast Harvey Weinstein was, makes it worth the watch. The screenplay by Oscar® winner Rebekah Lenkiewicz doesn’t wander from the actual events, helping to set a timeline for how Weinstein’s harassment started and how it was allowed to continue.
For decades, Miramax and producer Harvey Weinstein were a big part of our moviegoing experience. They produced and or distributed many memorable films we watched and still love today. “Clerks,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Good Will Hunting” and “Shakespeare in Love” are just a few off the top of my head. They could do no wrong. “Kinky Boots” and “There Will Be Blood” were genius, as were so many others that came from that company. It’s a shame that such a selfish man tarnished the good name of his and his brother Bob’s parents, Miriam and Max, where the name of the company originated.
What we get from “She Said” is vitally important. What we didn’t need, however, was to see it repeated over and over in a span of time that exceeded two hours. My biggest criticism about Hollywood at the moment is that it seems a story can’t be told in under two hours anymore. Why? Even a film as compelling as this can ask for less time from its audience. Perhaps a limited series would have been a better way to go, especially with television platforms growing and slowly becoming the way to watch entertainment these days.
You’ve seen their story or similar narratives told several times over in other films. However, what’s so noteworthy about “She Said” and the work the New York Times reporters Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) did, is what happened after their work was done. They exposed what was going on for years in the Hollywood canon. They gave victims, who were threatened into silence, a voice. This also gave injured parties, both old and new, faith that the “buddy system” had seen its last days. Though the journalists had struggles of their own at the time, they were diligent in getting the story out, ignoring intimidation and threats against them. Work and achieving justice came first.
Their perseverance ultimately helped over eighty women come forth against the bigwig, who was eventually criminally charged with rape, criminal sex acts, sexual abuse, and sexual misconduct. Weinstein’s now serving a twenty-three-year sentence in prison and awaiting a second charge in Los Angeles.
Director Maria Schrader was very delicate with the characterizations and the details. Most especially in her treatment with respect to the victims. Never once does she show Weinstein. Taking this approach keeps the audience focused on what he did rather than watching a movie he was a big part of, so you might fall for something positive on his side.
It was an excellent way to see Hollywood holding him to account.
The performances were perfect, properly communicating what the victims went through without over-dramatizing their accounts for entertainment value.
Something extraordinary came from all of the awful things Weinstein had done. Actresses who came out against him, such as Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, not to mention the reporters Twohey and Kazan, were instrumental in the launch of the “Me Too” movement, something they should all be proud of.
Directed by: Maria Schrader
Written by: Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan, Andre Braugher and Patricia Clarkson
Rated: R (Language|Descriptions of Sexual Assault)
Runtime: 2h 15m
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Producers: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner
Executive Producers: Megan Ellison, Sue Naegle